Nine rabies cases have been confirmed in Orange County so far this year, according to Animal Services.

In total, twelve positive rabies cases were recorded in 2013 – so we’re nearing that figure, and it’s only April.

On Saturday, an Efland resident found a dead raccoon outside of her barn. It was later tested and found to be rabid.

The resident owns eight animals – three horses, three dogs, and two cats – and their potential exposure to the raccoon cannot be ruled out, Animal Services said.  Seven of the eight animals are currently vaccinated against rabies and will receive a booster shot.

Unfortunately, one of the cats was not currently vaccinated and will be euthanized.

Under North Carolina law, a dog, cat or ferret that has a current rabies vaccination must only receive a booster shot within five days  of any suspected rabies exposure.

If you or your pet encounters an animal believed to be rabid, you should report it to Animal Services immediately by calling 919.942.7387. It is also advised that pets not be allowed to roam free where they can be exposed to wildlife.

The Animal Services Department holds periodic low-cost vaccination clinics throughout the year.

The next Low-Cost Rabies Vaccination Clinic will take place on Thursday, May 8, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Public Market House/Farmer’s Market in Hillsborough.

The cost for rabies vaccinations is $10 and only cash will be accepted at this clinic.

Clinic dates for the rest of 2014 are posted here.